The UK's proposed new immigration system could halve the number of people coming to Scotland, risking labour shortages in key sectors, an independent expert group has warned.
New research shows that 46.5% of migrants who want to work in East Dunbartonshire would be ineligible to come to the UK under Westminster proposals - shutting the door on our ability to recruit talented, skilled and dedicated workers from Europe and elsewhere.
According to previous analysis by the Expert Advisory Group, 53% of roles filled by employees in Scotland earn less than £25,000, including up to 90% of jobs in the care sector.
Holyrood’s Finance Committee has also warned that demographic changes could pose risks to Scottish public spending, and our ability to fund the NHS.
SNP MSP Rona Mackay said:
“The COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated the UK’s reliance on invaluable key workers who have come to Scotland from all over the world.
“This pandemic has shown beyond doubt that people working in the roles which the Tories describe as ‘lower-skilled’ are absolutely vital to our communities.
"East Dunbartonshire has specific demographic needs that would be neglected and escalated by this proposal. Reduced migration coupled with an ageing population would see fewer working-age taxpayers – creating a crisis that could hammer our public services like the NHS.
“But despite the clear evidence, the Tories seem utterly determined to back Boris Johnson’s closed-minded plans which will be immeasurably damaging to East Dunbartonshire and Scotland.
“We need the power to attract and retain the people we need to support our public services, as well as the benefits of living in a culturally diverse and accepting society. Scotland should be open and a place where everyone is welcome.”